Six Picks: Recommendations from the Monitor staff

The Beatles getting better all the time, the humor in politics on, Brit pop singer Gary Go, and more.

Georgia O'Keefe Museum / ARS
Dellacourte Press

All you need...

We got a glimpse of how rich The Beatles' music could sound with the 2006 release of the "LOVE" soundtrack (to Cirque du Soleil's Beatles extravaganza). Now all 12 studio albums plus two "Past Masters" compilations have been painstakingly remastered for our listening (and screaming?) pleasure. "The Beatles: Remastered" CDs, featuring their original British sequencing and artwork, can now be purchased individually or as either a stereo or mono boxed set. Each album includes a related quicktime documentary with film clips, photos, and interviews with producer George Martin and the endlessly fascinating Fab Four.

Political laughs

Think politics is boring? Tune into a new website launching Sept. 14,, on which Republican and Democratic strategists, as well as real politicians, writers, producers, and performers come together to show that, in fact, all these partisans are actually a great source of entertainment. The Web-based series will run the gamut from scripted shows such as "Moving Numbers," a dramedy about a fictional campaign, to a reality series, "Scoops," in which aspiring journalists will compete for the opportunity to head to Washington and work with top journalists covering the political scene.

O'Keeffe on show

American artist Georgia O'Keeffe, painter of sensual flowers and soulful New Mexican landscapes, is remembered this month on television and in a major New York show. Lifetime will air "Georgia O'Keeffe" Sept. 19, a first-class biopic starring Joan Allen in the lead and Jeremy Irons as her mentor, editor, and husband, Alfred Stieglitz. On Sept. 17, New York's Whitney Museum of American Art opens an O'Keeffe show that will travel later in the year.


Rising Brit pop singer Gary Go releases his self-titled debut album this week, which has shades of Coldplay in its introspective yet uplifting lyrics. The Londoner has tech geek cred, having written several songs on an iPhone app. For a free download of "Wonderful" (from the album) and more, go to

Soaking in style

You may need your own private island to apply some of the designs in "150 Best Bathroom Ideas," by Daniela Santos Quartino (Collins Design, $29.99), but the simplicity, walls of glass, and eco touches in its photo-filled pages will show you that the humble bathroom can be a sleek and serene retreat.

A slice of life

All the sun and magic of Africa are baked into Gaile Parkin's debut novel set in Rwanda. Unlike Precious Ramotswe, that other icon of African charm and wisdom, Angel Tungaraza is not a detective but a cakemaker. As a "professional somebody," the grandmother provides a listening ear to customers and friends – and her teapot is always full. In "Baking Cakes in Kigali" (Delacorte Press, $24), we peek into a warm and practical community as colorful as Angel's dazzling confections.

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